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School employee, former law enforcement officer accused of having sex with a minor

By Staff | Dec 16, 2008

A Cape Coral man who was arrested Friday for reportedly having sex with a minor, information he admitted to during a job interview with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, previously worked with law enforcement in New York and as a bus driver and custodian for the Lee County School District.
School officials said the incident has no ties to his employment with the district.
William Cruz Jr., 49, was charged with lewd or lascivious battery on a person under the age of 16. He was being held Tuesday in the Lee County Jail on $100,000 bond, according to jail records.
According to police reports, Cruz had a consensual sexual relationship with a teen under the age of 16 in 2000, which continued until after the victim turned 18.
During that time, Cruz worked for Clear Channel Radio in Fort Myers, according to his personnel file with the school district.
Cruz was hired by the district in October and worked as a bus driver and custodian at Trafalgar Middle School.
The crime of which Cruz is accused has no connection to his employment with the school district, said district spokesperson Joe Donzelli. Cruz’s employment will be terminated regardless.
“I believe he is in jail, but when he bonds out he will be notified,” he said. “This has nothing to do with his time with the district.”
Before working with the school district, Cruz owned WCJR Inc., a local limousine and transport service where he made an annual salary of $100,000, his personnel file states.
Prior to moving to Southwest Florida, Cruz transported prisoners to Riker’s Island as an employee of the New York Department of Corrections from 1987 to 1999.
Three of Cruz’s professional references gave him “above average” evaluations, his personnel file states. A reference dated Sept. 11 describes Cruz as having an “outgoing, friendly attitude, always willing to help out and offer assistance.”
“I’ve known Mr. Cruz for several years now, he has helped out with handywork around my house and is very helpful and dependable,” the reference states.
Deputies said Cruz admitted to the relationship with the underage female during a Sept. 30 interview with the sheriff’s office, causing the Special Victim’s Unit to open an investigation.
Sgt. Matthew Herterick contacted the victim, who reportedly told Herterick about her relationship with Cruz. Cruz and the victim had sexual intercourse during their relationship, which she concealed to family and friends, the victim reportedly said.
Reports state that the victim, who lived in New York with her mother prior to moving to Lehigh Acres, was sexually abused between the ages of 3 and 5.
Cruz and the victim lived together in a consensual relationship from 2004 to 2006, after the victim had graduated high school, reports state. When the victim left Cruz in 2006 to have a relationship with a longtime friend, Cruz reportedly threatened to commit suicide on several occasions.
The victim reportedly told her boyfriend about her relationship with Cruz, who told the victim’s mother.
Records indicate Cruz had not been previously charged with a crime in Lee.
The victim is now happily married and has a career, she told reportedly detectives. She asked that Cruz be prosecuted on the charge against him.